Well, here we are again!! It’s seems like every year we marvel at how fast the time went by. Yes, another year! And what a year it was!! 2016 saw the Black Women of Brazil expand its readership once again and break some records along the way. In 2016 I also posted a short bio of yours truly for my readers who have wondered at one time or another, “Who’s responsible for this blog?”
As I explained in the brief bio, my intent of remaining in the background for so long was to allow the material written by Brazilians to speak for itself. In this sense, the blog is a collaborative effort with the material that translated from Portuguese taken from Brazilian sources and combined with my own interpretation and commentaries on the material.
So, like last year, I thought it would be great to re-visit the top posts of the year. And like last year, I will feature the top 10 posts earning the most views overall regardless of the year the material was posted as well as tracking the top posts posted only in the year 2016.
With that said, let’s get to it!!
Coming in at number 10 for 2016 is the post entitled “Russian photographer, surprised by racism in Brazil, decides to capture the beauty of black Brazilian women”. This story simply re-affirms the never-ending fascination people will have with looking at photos of beautiful women. It also speaks to the issue that, often times, foreigners are most likely to recognize the beauty of Brazil’s black women than Brazil itself!
Number 10 for material released only in the year 2016 is the story reflects a topic that was widely discussed among black Brazilian women in 2016: The solitude of the black woman. Over the past 12 months, numerous black women voiced their frustration with being passed over in the area of long-lasting romantic relationships while their white counterparts, for the most part, don’t experience this and have their choice of the best available white AND black men. “You black men who prefer white women and we black women who you pass over” is an article that many Afro-Brazilian women could relate to and even stimulated a response for a black Brazilian man who, analyzing his own identity, recognized his own contribution to this sad statistic.
Coming in at number 9 in articles released in 2016, “’Many see a monkey, I see Aladdin’s best friend’: Father apologizes after dressing his black son as Abu from Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ cartoon” was a story provoked by a photo shared on social networks, outraging black Brazilians and again showed Brazil’s ongoing will to compare black people with monkeys.
Number 8 for material released in 2016 was the story “Racism and the tale of two athletes: one, a multiple first place winner, black, not on Brazil’s Olympic team; the other, mediocre, (off) white and on the team”, highlighting the story of a non-black athlete’s racist comments against his black teammate. This guy went on to earn a medal in Rio’s Olympic ceremony while his black teammate was nowhere to be found during the Games.
Number 7 for stories released in 2016 was an ugly incident that once again displayed how Rio’s beautiful beaches are places where one can measure strong ideologies and practices of racism and segregation. “’Next time, be born white! You have a complex because of being born mulata with hard hair!’ Woman is verbally assaulted on Rio beach by middle-aged white woman, a Hitler supporter” is so typically Brazilian in the fact that the woman at the center of this controversy claims she isn’t racist.
The 9th overall ranking article for 2016 is a holdover from last year’s top 10 list. “A message to the African-American community on stereotypes about Brazilian women” continues to resonate with readers as nowadays one can note a strong interest in Brazil within the black community in the United States. As I’ve said numerous times, it’s great to see people of different nations connect and get to know each other, after all, I’ve be at it for 16 years. But for true understanding to happen, we MUST get beyond stereotypes, separate fact from fiction and be willing to learn from each other.
The number 8 story overall took a look at the protests and controversy that would lead to the ouster of Brazil’s first woman president, Dilma Rousseff. Once again showing how Brazil can be very divided along lines of race and class, “Protest against president again features nearly all-white upper-middle class displays of racism, desire to protect status and putting ‘have nots’ back in their place” provides insight into not only rejection of Workers’ Party rule but also the ascension of those who experienced social mobility during its tenure.
The number 7 overall ranking story makes the top 10 once again and still disgusts me to this day. The story and images are just a reminder of how Brazil’s police forces treat its poor and black population. How else can you explain a “Black woman shot dead; body is dragged on the ground attached to the bumper of a police car!”?
Number 6 in overall ranking is yet another holdover from 2015 and once again shows that men outside of Brazil will never tire of admiring Brazil’s beautiful (black) women. The article is entitled “The Top 10 Most Beautiful Black Women of Brazilian television” but anyone who has watched Brazilian television knows that this list could be extended to at least 50!!
Number 5 is an original story from 2016 and certainly gained earned an audience due not only its racist content but that it took place during a time when all of the world’s eyes were on Brazil: The Olympics. “I hate blacks but Brazil’s goalie has a chance!”- After racist post, federal official justifies himself: “I have a black wife and several black friends” provided another typical example of how racist Brazilians can be but even being caught being racist will NEVER admit it.
At number 4 is an absurd story that shocked thousands of people. “Couple in Rio are denied registering their new-born with an African name” was ridiculous in so many ways as this black couple simply chose to affirm their connection with Africa in choosing not to give their child one of the overtly common first, middle and last names that millions of Brazilians have. The good news is that this couple eventually won the right to christen the child with the name they chose!
Number 3 is another new entry form 2016 and also another story that rode the wave of Rio’s Olympic Games and one of the shining black stars representing the red, white and blue flag. It was great presenting “The racism of Simone Biles’s ‘Brazilian boyfriend’ and the top-ranked black gymnast who wasn’t invited to join Brazil’s gymnastics team” story because it highlighted the need for presenting cross-cultural, relevant news when the mainstream media leaves out important newsworthy details. This story is connected to the number eight story of material posted in 2016, a dirty little secret that perhaps wasn’t meant to spread beyond Brazil’s borders. I wonder if Simone ever got wind of this story about her Brazilian friend.
Number 2 on our list is a story that has been a hit since it first appeared on the blog late in 2013. “25 curious facts about slavery in Brazil” has made the top 10 for three straight years and I anticipate that it was remain a chart-topper as so many in the English-speaking world continue to dig for facts about a people that were dispersed to numerous countries around the world as we continue to put the pieces back together of a stolen history. Some of which can be found in Brazil!
And finally!! Our number 1 story for the year represents so many things. This article earned the most reads of any post in a single day since the beginning of this blog! This story received more views in a single day than material on the entire blog attracts on average in 12 days! This story once again blew up due to so many factors. 1) It was during the Olympics in Rio. 2) It was Brazil’s first gold medal in the Games hosted in Brazil for the first time in history. 3) Brazil’s first gold medalist in the 2016 Olympic Games was black, female and from a poor background. 4) It was a sweet victory for a young woman who had been disqualified in the 2012 Olympic Games and as a result was the target of racist remarks online. And 5) Due to her origins and Brazil’s obsession with presenting itself as a white nation, Brazil should “keep it real. You don’t really love the Rafaela Silvas of the world; you only like this one temporarily because she won the gold!” Congratulations to Rafaela Silva and all those Brazilians who won medals and competed in the first Olympic Games ceremony hosted in Brazil!!
And a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the readers that helped the Black Women of Brazil blog continue to climb to new heights in the blog-o-sphere! It was a banner, record breaking year that saw the most accessed article for a single day in the blog’s history and a month (August) that more than doubled this blog’s previous record for most page views in a single month!
Stay with us and expect more interesting content in 2017 as we continue to discuss Latin America’s largest, most populous nation from the perspective of race!
WELCOME TO 2017!!!